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Academic Majors


Public Relations and Advertising

Public relations and advertising is a 36-credit major offered by the Department of Communication. Undergraduate majors may choose from professional emphases in advertising or public relations.

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The Program

Students interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree offered by the Department of Communication must first complete all courses and requirements associated with the pre-communication preparation designation. Once all pre-communication preparation courses and requirements are met, the student completes and submits the pre-communication form, available on the department website, to the department’s academic assistant. After verification of accuracy, the student is accepted into the professional program and can continue pursuing a degree in the Department of Communication.

Pre-Communication Preparation

Students must complete 21 credits of selected courses with a grade of B or above to become a public relations and advertising major. The courses are COMM 110; COMM 112; COMM 114; COMM 212; COMM 216; ENGL 110 (unless exempt) and ENGL 120; SOC 110 or POLS 110 or PSYC 111 or CJ 201. Precommunication preparation courses may be retaken only once.

Public Relations and Advertising Major

Students majoring in public relations and advertising may earn a Bachelor of Science degree (includes an approved minor) or a Bachelor of Arts degree (includes a modern language proficiency) upon completion of all pre-communication preparation courses and requirements. Students will select one of two tracks. A public relations track will orient students to the principles and practices of public relations as both a practice and field of study. The second track is advertising. This track will introduce students to the
principles and practices of advertising. Students will complete an applied capstone course as part of the required course work.

Career Opportunities

Course work in the public relations and advertising major prepares students for careers in advertising and public relations that include copy design and editing, client services, event planning, promotion, evaluation, publicity and media relations, creative design, professional business consulting and training. The courses in each emphasis track promote written and oral communication skills and prepare students to communicate in meaningful and effective ways.

Public Relations and Advertising Minor

Many other majors offered at North Dakota State University can be greatly enhanced by a public relations and advertising minor. The 21-credit minor includes a 12-credit core and nine credits of communication professional specialization.

Internship Program

Internships offer practical experience for public relations and advertising students. Students must propose an internship, gain approval from the departmental internship coordinator, have an onsite evaluation, and report on the internship experience.

Internships must be taken for credit, and a student may have more than one. Students intern with hospital administrators, private agencies and firms, and governmental officials, among others. Internships often lead to recommendations and jobs.


The Department of Communication awards a number of scholarships to juniors and seniors with financial need who excel in academics and who have demonstrated career potential and commitment. Applications are available in March for awards in May. Visit the department website for information.

Extra-Curricular Activities

NDSU has two honoraries for top students majoring in a degree program offered by the Department of Communication. Pi Kappa Delta is a national honor fraternity for students involved in human communication activities. Lambda Pi Eta is a national honorary for communication majors with high grades and achievement. The Ad Club exists for students in the advertising track. The Public Relations Student Society of America is available for students in public relations.

High School Preparation

A well-rounded high school education with some experiences in high school music, forensics, theater, journalism, FFA and scouting often serves as good preparation for a major in public relations and advertising. Students with interests in science and art, business and service, and publicity and promotion will find a major in public relations and advertising very compatible.

The Faculty

Faculty members in the Department of Communication are all committed teachers, researchers, scholars and practitioners. The faculty earned doctorates at the Universities of Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Southern California, Tennessee, Wyoming, Arizona State University, Michigan State University, Purdue University, and University of Cambridge (UK).

Sample Curriculum

General Education RequirementsCredits
First Year Experience
  UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
  English Upper Division Writing3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Science & Technology10
Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social and Behavioral Sciences
  COMM 112 - Understanding Media and Social Change3
  COMM 114 - Human Communication3
Cultural Diversity
  COMM 216 - Intercultural Communication-
Global Perspective-
College/Department Requirements Credits
Humanities Elective(s) 3 or 6
Social Science Elective
  SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology or
     POLS 110 - Introduction to Political Science or
       PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology or
         CJ 201 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
Fine Arts Elective(s) 3 or 6
Total 12
Major Requirements Credits
COMM 212 - Interpersonal Communication 3
COMM 301 - Rhetorical Traditions or
COMM 321 - Introduction to Communication Theory
COMM 320 - Communication Analysis 3
COMM 375 - Principles of Advertising and Public Relations 3
COMM 431 - Communication Ethics 3
COMM 496 - Field Experience 3
Total 18
Public Relations Track Credits
COMM 472 - Public Relations Campaigns (Capstone) 3
COMM 477 - Research for Strategic Communications 3
COMM 485 - Crisis Communication in Public Relations or
COMM 486 - Risk Communication
Electives 12
Total 21
Advertising Track Credits
COMM 376 - Advertising Creative Strategies or
COMM 377 - Advertising Media Planning
COMM 476 - Ad Campaigns Practicum 3
COMM 477 - Research for Strategic Communication 3
Electives 12

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic adviser or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Minard Hall
Room 338

Minard Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard  (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Communication
North Dakota State University
Minard Hall 338
Dept. 2310, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7705 / Fax: (701) 231-7784

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802

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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU WebMaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 10:29:43 AM